G.I. Joe Retaliation review
I had very high hopes for this movie. The first G.I. Joe movie of this series, The Rise of Cobra, which would've been a better title for this movie, was a pretty decent action movie. Channing Tatum was a pretty good lead hero for the movie, the supporting cast members were good, the villains great and the story was awesome for a straight up action movie. Then the trailer for the sequel comes out and it looks great. Cobra looks much better than he did in the last movie, the Rock was a big character now and the action was ramping up. Then 2 months before its 2012 release, it is retracted and delayed for almost another year. Reports said it was to add 3-D and fix big problems that the target audience had. What did people have a problem with? Let's find out.
The story starts off where the last movie left off, kind of. In the last movie, Cobra and Destro were locked up in a secure prison in a massive military boat. Now they are locked up underground with their bodies in a coma, while their minds are fully aware. ok? Zartan, Cobra's evil spy, is disguised as the President of the United States. After the Joes wrap up a mission, Zartan goes on the air and declares the Joes betrayed the country and are enemies. They are attacked and mostly wiped out. However, Roadbloack, played by Dwayne Johnson aka the Rock, Flint and Lady Jaye survive. Meanwhile, Snake Eyes, for whatever reason, is out in Asia training with a lady named Jinx in a dojo run by a sensei who somehow has history with these 2, but we have never heard about him in the last movie. ok? Storm Shadow is alive and goes to free Commander Cobra, with the help of a new character, Firefly, who is an explosives expert. Cobra is of course freed, and he leaves Destro behind to die, for an unknown reason. ok? (seeing a trend here?). Cobra's new plan involves several satellites in space that drop unstoppable lead structures that become bombs, when did he have time to plan this? It's up to the 4 remaining Joes, and Jinx, to stop Cobra's weapon, save the President, and the world.
The biggest problem with this movie is the story. It is incredibly muddled and filled with plot holes and oddities. As you saw me describe the premise of the story, you saw how many strange things were going on, or just how downright stupid it was. The first movie proved it wasn't that hard to give a good script. Retaliation taught us that you can completely screw up something so easy. And most of the plot holes come from the ending scenes of the movie. How the villain's plots flopped, how the Joes win, what happens to them afterwards. It is like seeing a small ant racing through a park to get to the finish line. As the race continues, so many obstacles come and through it off and ruins what is happening, then a giant foot comes down and splatters any hope of a good ending story-wise. It would take me an hour to list all of the plotholes and stupid moments in the script. Yes folks, it is that bad. So many glaring questions about why things are happening and such will leave you baffled apposed to actually enjoying the story.
The action though, when not too over the top, is great. There are more fistfights in this movie than the last. That's a good and a bad thing. Fist fights are intense, but can't beat shootouts or the Paris action scene from the first movie. Speaking of which, in the first movie, part of Paris received heavy damage. In this movie, an entire city is wiped off the face of the planet. It isn't cool, it is way over the top and ridiculous. I laughed at the scene. The best action scene is Snake Eye's battle on the side of a mountain against ninjas. That was really awesome. A great addition.
Now, the cast, which is nowhere near as memorable as the first movie.
The reason the movie was recalled was because Channing Tatum's character, the hero of the first movie, is killed in the first 20 minutes of this movie. They didn't fix this problem, and it is a HUGE letdown and mistake.
*SPOILER ALERT ENDED*
The Rock does an ok job as the leading man, but it is just ok, nothing spectacular. Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow are awesome in this movie, but nowhere near as close as the first movie. Although Snake Eye's costume is a huge improvement. Cobra Commander's look is also massively improved from the first movie. His costume looks great, a callback to the original cartoon, and his voice goes great with the character now. The rest of the cast is forgettable. The villains are villains, the heroes are heroes. There is a love plot, back stories and such, but none of them are anything to write home about. It is such a shame the cast quality went down in this movie. I really miss the cast from the first movie, they were solid. A big problem with the cast is characters from the first movie just mysteriously gone, and new characters that are not developed and are just sporadically placed. It is very odd and not that great. But none more disappointing than Bruce Willis' character. He shows up late in the film to help, and he is just meh as an overall character, getting a few good lines in. But Roadblock says the G.I. Joes are inspired by him. They never go into why that is, what he did, or why he is such an inspiration. That is a huge plot point I would have loved to have seen explored!!!!
Overall, we have an action-packed mess of a letdown. I had such high hopes for another great Joe movie, and we get this flop. The story is so riddled with plot holes and nonsense, it is a wonder that taking it back for an extra 9 months didn't result in a better product. This is a big let down of a Joe movie. Some costumes were improved on and the action was intense, but this is a big step back for the Joes.
I give G.I. Joe Retaliation a villainous 1.5 out of 5